News & Analysis

  1. Here's A Secret: We Need Anonymous Social Networks - 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

    Secret founder doesn’t care if teenagers kill themselves, as long as they don’t cause a PR headache

    Yesterday, Sarah Lacy wrote a blistering critique of anonymous gossip app, Secret, adding to a growing chorus of criticism of the service and its growing use as a tool for bullies and defamers. As the Economist put it: Once, bullies taunted their victims in the playground; today they use smartphones to do so from afar… If you are bullied via Facebook, Twitter or text, you can usually identify your attacker. As a victim of an anonymous messaging app…
  3. bitcoin-judge

    ICANN, but YOUCANT: Internet naming body won’t hand over Iran, Syria and North Korea’s domains to terror victims

    ICANN has responded to a US court’s attempt to have control over the top level domains of Iran, Syria and North Korea handed over to victims of terrorism. Unsurprisingly their response is “uh… no.” As CircleID explains, US law permits foreign government assets to be seized and paid as compensation to victims of state-sponsored terrorism. ICANN, however, argues that TLDs are not “property” which is “owned” by the countries in question. As such they can’t be handed over to…
  4. _50844715_mike_malone_5

    Michael Malone: “In fifteen years, the face of Silicon Valley will be an Indian woman”

    Unlike many Valley bloggers I have zero interest in ever becoming a venture capitalist. Likewise, I didn’t have much interest in starting a company– I simply found myself with no job, a new baby and nothing better to do. So there’s exactly one person whose career I utterly, disgustingly, shamelessly envy in Silicon Valley. One person– and one person only — that I’d professionally switch places with: The great Michael Malone. Malone has been covering the Valley twice as long…
  5. pando-click-bait

    Which site that makes almost all of its money from clickbait just published a rant about how the “saved you a click” Twitter account is ruining clickbait for everyone?

    Buzzfeed. (Saved you a click.)
  7. joker

    Judge rejects nurse’s lawsuit against Aereo on grounds that it contains not one intelligible sentence

    Further proof, if it were needed, that tech startups are the new celebrities: The growing line of stalkers, pranksters and other assorted crazy people trying to get themselves attached to high profile technology lawsuits. A couple of weeks back, Pando reported that a conspiracy nut and/or hoaxer had used the name of a real attorney to file a false motion to remove Judge Lucy Koh from the Techtopus Silicon Valley wage-fixing case. The grounds? That Koh is an agent…
  8. Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.25.05 PM

    Times of Israel removes op-ed proposing genocide in Gaza

    Earlier today, the Times of Israel, an online newspaper claiming a readership of 2 million, published an opinion piece on the Israeli-Gaza conflict called, “When Genocide is Permissible” by blogger Yochanan Gordon. Gordon, who falls squarely on Israel’s side, argues that when fighting an “enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people,” then is not “genocide” an permissible response to this? “Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to…
  9. Cash Present

    Circle gifts $50 in BTC to beta users to atone for accidental cash advance charges

    Still waiting on an invite to Circle Internet Financial, the user-friendly bitcoin bank that is slowly rolling out beta access to its platform? You’re not alone, but the line between whether it’s a good or bad thing to be an early adopter continues to shift. As we reported two weeks ago, the good news for those of you still on the outside looking in is that you’ve avoided accidentally being billed for a cash advance by your…
  11. Unicorns

    A look at the rarified air of the $10B club, and the investors who back these outliers

    Ah valuations, the most nebulous, polarizing of startup data points. Our favorite data fiends over at CB Insights took a look at the rarified air of venture-backed companies worth $10 billion or more – super-unicorns (or ‘decacorns’, according to CB) if you will. As rare as a ten-figure ($1 billion) valuation once was for a private company, that list is growing so quickly as to make new additions largely unremarkable. If the Aaron Sorkin’s Social Network was…
  12. snowdenfeature

    Report: Yes, Snowden’s NSA revelations changed how terrorists behave

    Ever since last summer when Edward Snowden began releasing a trove of NSA mass surveillance documents, the “Snowden’s a traitor!” crowd has been claiming his disclosures constitute a blow to national security. “Now the terrorists know our secrets!” they claim in exasperation, though how exactly terrorists have changed their behavior remains unclear. Meanwhile, new NSA director Mike Rogers claims that terrorists are aware of and adapting to the Snowden documents, but did not go into much further detail and assured Americans…
  14. Expert

    Foursquare’s redesign will make expertise the new gamification

    Foursquare has been in the process of transitioning away from the check-in for much of the year,  after splitting its product into two standalone apps, with the focus of the flagship product being discovery. One thing lost in the process was the badges and mayorship gamification elements that made Foursquare popular in its early days. This changed today as the company introduced a new type of “status,” which its calling expertise. Users will gain ranking for leaving tips in…

    As another scampaign is exposed, Indiegogo again refuses to act

    For anyone who followed our reporting reporting on Indiegogo’s Healbe scampaign, you need to go to The Next Web right now and read Martin Bryant’s teardown of the Ritot projection watch project, also on Indiegogo. To Bryan’s credit, he acknowledges that his publication had initially plugged the campaign, fooled by yet another attention grabbing idea that turned out to be dishonest bullshit on closer comparison. Ritot’s quirk is that it is a smart watch that literally projects the…
  16. secret

    Investors have to stop trying to justify the lies and libel of Secret

    In the last few months, I’ve spoken to two groups of people about Secret. The first group are investors who I respect very much who have either invested in Secret or tried to. Each time they’ve tried to justify their investment by explaining how it’s actually a good thing that there’s a service with the sole goal of allowing people to be totally unaccountable for what they say publicly. The second—larger – group consists major CEOs and investors in…
  18. Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 1.02.35 PM

    Imagine how Gawker would react if your startup said any of the idiotic things their boss just said

    Valleywag, Gawker’s blog about Silicon Valley (but written from New York), is famous for two things. The first is driving easy pageviews by mocking the delusional, buzzword-laden bullshit that spews readily from a certain type of Valley entrepreneur. The second is grotesque hypocrisy: I’ve written before about how Gawker’s staffers attack the wealthy elites of Silicon Valley, despite the fact that their boss is a hugely wealthy tech mogul who based the company off-shore to avoid tax, is
  19. A booking photo of Colorado shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes is shown in this handout supplied by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office in Centennial, Colorado

    America’s most infamous murderers apparently filed this handwritten motion in Valley wage-fixing suit

    If you thought the Techtopus Silicon Valley wage fixing scandal, and ensuing settlement, couldn’t get any more grotesque… you ain’t read nothing yet. Late yesterday, a handwritten “motion to intervene” document was entered into the public record, purporting to be from Pennsylvania prison inmate Christopher Donnelly, and signed by a group of America’s most infamous murderers. The scrawled letter, embedded below, cites “newly discovered evidence” in the wage fixing scandal and asks that the following people be permitted to intervene…
  20. the-fog-of-twitter

    The gov’t asks Twitter for more data than ever, but still won’t let it disclose national security requests

    Today, Twitter published its fifth-ever transparency report, detailing the number and nature of government requests it receives. These demands include requests for user data, content removal, and copyright notices. Between January and June of this year, the report notes, Twitter received 2,058 requests for account information, a 46 percent increase over the previous six months. Over half of these requests (1257) came from the US government, and Twitter complied with these orders 72 percent of the time. By comparison, between…

The Week in Review